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Peak Oil Barrel: Peak Oil 2015

General discussions of the systemic, societal and civilisational effects of depletion.

Re: Peak Oil Barrel: Peak Oil 2015

Unread postby vtsnowedin » Sat 22 Apr 2017, 13:27:34

pstarr wrote:Yes, diverse economies (with greatly different energy needs) will fall at different rates, but make no mistake: the vast wealth of the few industrial powerhouses is also over.

America is too dependent on just-in-time manufacturing, dispersed supply lines, and a dumbed down manufacturing base. Even at the most basic level we have lost our ability to make stuff. Is there a restaurant left that could actually slaughter, process, prepare a whole steer. Our food comes from 1,000's of miles away in refrigerated plastic. There is no other way. Same with sub-assemblies for every tool our lives depend on.

We need those other failing economies

While there are many today that have never cleaned a trout and fried it up for dinner there are plenty of people that know how to do the whole process from hoof to table for all the different food species. I know how to dress off a cow and cut it up for the freezer but it is a tedious task I now leave to others as often as possible. Our agriculture and food delivery system is quite robust and not dependent on foreign sources of any major foodstuff. We do import fresh fruit from the southern Hemisphere in winter because we can afford it but that is hardly a necessity. Beef processed in Omaha next to Maine potatoes and California salad and broccoli makes a good meal especially washed down with good wine from several states or imported from a number of countries.
If the energy to transport that food over the distances presently covered becomes scarce and expensive the value of locally grown and processed food will go up along with food prices but I don't see it getting to the point where there is less then adequate food available in any locality in the USA.
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Re: Peak Oil Barrel: Peak Oil 2015

Unread postby shortonoil » Mon 24 Apr 2017, 17:15:48

"There is no other way. Same with sub-assemblies for every tool our lives depend on.

We need those other failing economies'


The US can not even build the machines that make its factories run. It shipped the tool and die plants to Asia over 30 years ago. As a mechanical engineer I was appalled that such a thing could happen. At that point it was evident that the country was being run by complete fools, or we were intentionally be sold down the river. Tool and die production is the heart of industrialization, the US had the best in the world; and then they just gave it away. I watched in horror as plant after plant left the country. If you wanted to build a canning machine today you have to go to South Korea to get the tooling.
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Re: Peak Oil Barrel: Peak Oil 2015

Unread postby donstewart » Mon 24 Apr 2017, 18:04:41

@vtsnowedin
Relative to 'local food'. I have studied this subject for quite some time, from first and second hand experience. The situation, should diesel truck transportation collapse, is quite alarming. We would essentially be reduced to what we can harvest and prepare today and what we can save in rudimentary storage such as root cellars (which most people don't have) and fermentation vats (which most people don't have and don't know how to use).

For example, we have recently been having very warm weather, which has caused many winter crops to bolt early. I have forestalled some of the damage by deploying shade cloth. But shade cloth and the electrical conduit that I suspend it on are both industrial products. Yesterday I visited a local farm which hosts some Burmese refugees. They accomplish what I accomplish using industrial materials with bamboo. I submit that most Americans would starve before they figured out the bamboo equivalents. And, not to brag too much on the Burmese, one of the farmers drove up in her late model Japanese car.

The more one looks at the food situation, the more hopeless it seems. (Assuming, of course, the collapse of the diesel truck system.)

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Re: Peak Oil Barrel: Peak Oil 2015

Unread postby pstarr » Mon 24 Apr 2017, 18:33:14

Don, I have been through this with the trolls a hundred times. He/they have no idea how to grow things, much less analyze a complex food production system. They can't comprehend the embodied energy-content of their own energy production: how would one expect the same of their own food and survival
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Re: Peak Oil Barrel: Peak Oil 2015

Unread postby vtsnowedin » Mon 24 Apr 2017, 19:23:18

donstewart wrote:@vtsnowedin
Relative to 'local food'. I have studied this subject for quite some time, from first and second hand experience. The situation, should diesel truck transportation collapse, is quite alarming. We would essentially be reduced to what we can harvest and prepare today and what we can save in rudimentary storage such as root cellars (which most people don't have) and fermentation vats (which most people don't have and don't know how to use).

For example, we have recently been having very warm weather, which has caused many winter crops to bolt early. I have forestalled some of the damage by deploying shade cloth. But shade cloth and the electrical conduit that I suspend it on are both industrial products. Yesterday I visited a local farm which hosts some Burmese refugees. They accomplish what I accomplish using industrial materials with bamboo. I submit that most Americans would starve before they figured out the bamboo equivalents. And, not to brag too much on the Burmese, one of the farmers drove up in her late model Japanese car.

The more one looks at the food situation, the more hopeless it seems. (Assuming, of course, the collapse of the diesel truck system.)

Don Stewart

So the city slickers will starve if Walmart closes from lack of trucking? Perhaps, but even the true city slickers I know are more resilient then that.
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Re: Peak Oil Barrel: Peak Oil 2015

Unread postby donstewart » Mon 24 Apr 2017, 19:43:18

@vtsnowedin
I'm not talking about city slickers. Rural people are quite dependent on trucks. Rural people burn a lot more petroleum than city people.
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Re: Peak Oil Barrel: Peak Oil 2015

Unread postby pstarr » Mon 24 Apr 2017, 20:36:55

vtsnowedin wrote:
donstewart wrote:@vtsnowedin
Relative to 'local food'. I have studied this subject for quite some time, from first and second hand experience. The situation, should diesel truck transportation collapse, is quite alarming. We would essentially be reduced to what we can harvest and prepare today and what we can save in rudimentary storage such as root cellars (which most people don't have) and fermentation vats (which most people don't have and don't know how to use).

For example, we have recently been having very warm weather, which has caused many winter crops to bolt early. I have forestalled some of the damage by deploying shade cloth. But shade cloth and the electrical conduit that I suspend it on are both industrial products. Yesterday I visited a local farm which hosts some Burmese refugees. They accomplish what I accomplish using industrial materials with bamboo. I submit that most Americans would starve before they figured out the bamboo equivalents. And, not to brag too much on the Burmese, one of the farmers drove up in her late model Japanese car.

The more one looks at the food situation, the more hopeless it seems. (Assuming, of course, the collapse of the diesel truck system.)

Don Stewart

So the city slickers will starve if Walmart closes from lack of trucking? Perhaps, but even the true city slickers I know are more resilient then that.

brilliant stuff. I lived in New York, every apartment building always had a few rats. A lot more people. I just don't see 8 millions New Yorkers scrounging over a few thousand subway rats and scrawny pigeons. Brilliant stuff there vt. back on ignore
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Re: Peak Oil Barrel: Peak Oil 2015

Unread postby vtsnowedin » Tue 25 Apr 2017, 01:53:34

donstewart wrote:@vtsnowedin
I'm not talking about city slickers. Rural people are quite dependent on trucks. Rural people burn a lot more petroleum than city people.
Don Stewart

But today most rural people are not farmers. They do live near farmers so can tap into that knowledge base if needed. But considering that agriculture including processing and transport to market only uses about fifteen percent of our oil consumption there should be plenty of food long after the peak of oil production. Only the military could claim a higher priority and the troops have to be fed.
I planted a one acre food plot yesterday just for shiggles. I could just as well planted a food crop if I needed to.
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Re: Peak Oil Barrel: Peak Oil 2015

Unread postby donstewart » Tue 25 Apr 2017, 05:44:30

@vtsnowedin
At the farm I visited Sunday I had a conversation with the farm manager about financial solvency for small farms. She told me that the problem here is that most consumers are simply not interested in buying from local farms. We are producing a surplus of 'local food'...but the region imports about 95 percent of its total food. Our region passed from shortage to surplus of 'local food' almost 10 years ago, as young people came into the industry in a big way during the financial collapse.

Most farm land in Iowa doesn't produce anything directly edible by humans.

Brassicas are the poster child for 'healthy, local food', yet the overwhelming use of brassica plants is for oil as an industrial ingredient or a biofuel.

The farmland which can be quickly converted to 'energy surplus agriculture' must be a tiny percentage.

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Re: Peak Oil Barrel: Peak Oil 2015

Unread postby vtsnowedin » Tue 25 Apr 2017, 07:01:48

donstewart wrote:
Most farm land in Iowa doesn't produce anything directly edible by humans.



Don Stewart

How about the 4.65 million pints of milk and the 16 million eggs?
Or the 6.6 million pounds of meat from 2 million head of beef, 20 million pigs and 150,000 lambs processed in Iowa slaughter houses? And the 11 million bushels of apples and the 1.5 million pounds of honey?
Just because you don't pluck your own feathers or grind your own flour does not mean it cant be done if needed. :)
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Re: Peak Oil Barrel: Peak Oil 2015

Unread postby shortonoil » Tue 25 Apr 2017, 07:40:44

(Assuming, of course, the collapse of the diesel truck system.)

Don Stewart

We may see an example of that over the next couple of years. The present producer, jobber, refinery system can not be maintained for much longer. That system is now leaving refiners short changed by about $185 billion per year. In the event of its inevitable collapse some areas of the economy would likely find themselves short specific fuels. There is no way of determining where, or what but it is likely that the smaller sections of the market would be affected first. That would be the rural food producing areas.
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Re: Peak Oil Barrel: Peak Oil 2015

Unread postby Revi » Tue 25 Apr 2017, 08:17:03

Diesel and it's close relatives are going to cause a lot of industries to be in trouble. Here in Maine I can think of the Maple industry, lobstermen and of course the forestry industry. We need to keep them going if we want to keep eating and living in houses.

We'll see, but if we had to replace the production of maple syrup in Maine with small artisanal sugarhouses again it would be a gargantuan task. It would require the consumption of a huge amount of wood and it would require a lot more labor. Most people won't be up for that. That's just a small example of what it takes to change our present system of food production back to something sustainable. Right now the maple industry uses electricity to run reverse osmosis and vacuum pumps and uses fuel oil to boil down the maple syrup.

I imagine it's the same with most farms. They are set up for fossil fuels.
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Re: Peak Oil Barrel: Peak Oil 2015

Unread postby baha » Tue 25 Apr 2017, 08:38:10

I think about the chicken farms around here. Can you imagine all the solar panels you could put on that long straight roof? No FF's needed. They would be major producers of intermittent solar power, just add a few batteries...or a stable grid.

Really all you have to do is design your operation to work during sunlight hours, for something like boiling syrup.
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Re: Peak Oil Barrel: Peak Oil 2015

Unread postby shortonoil » Tue 25 Apr 2017, 09:39:51

"We'll see, but if we had to replace the production of maple syrup in Maine with small artisanal sugarhouses again it would be a gargantuan task. It would require the consumption of a huge amount of wood and it would require a lot more labor. Most people won't be up for that."

When I was a kid in Vermont I worked in the Sugar House every spring. It was all fired with wood, and a lot of buckets were picket up and dumped by hand. It was hard, hard work but we didn't seem to mind. They'll get used to it. Of course, at 70 I'll be leaving it to the younger generation. There is actually a lot of things that can be done with only a very little bit of oil. Quarries were dug, mines were run, cloth was spun with almost no oil at all. It will take a lot of time and there will be some serious suffering on the way, but we will probably get back to where we shouldn't have left to begin with. Oil, and all that it had to offer was always an illusion that we shouldn't have bought into in the first place. It allowed us to sit home, play on our cell phone, and get fat. That day is coming to a fast conclusion.
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Re: Peak Oil Barrel: Peak Oil 2015

Unread postby Revi » Tue 25 Apr 2017, 09:58:08

I would say so. We complain about having to get up, go to the fridge and get our food out of it, pre-packaged and ready for consumption. Wait until we have to grow, cook and consume our food without any fossil fuel. There will be a lot of people who will just cluster near the feeding stations, but some will figure out how to do it again.
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Re: Peak Oil Barrel: Peak Oil 2015

Unread postby donstewart » Tue 25 Apr 2017, 11:18:38

@vtsnowedin
The statistics you quote for Iowa agriculture are overwhelmingly industrial agriculture. So, for example, the animals are trucked from place to place using diesel fuel for each stage of their life and death. Old-fashioned integrated farms of the type which were common when I was young are a rarity.

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Re: Peak Oil Barrel: Peak Oil 2015

Unread postby pstarr » Tue 25 Apr 2017, 11:53:25

Revi wrote:I would say so. We complain about having to get up, go to the fridge and get our food out of it, pre-packaged and ready for consumption. Wait until we have to grow, cook and consume our food without any fossil fuel. There will be a lot of people who will just cluster near the feeding stations, but some will figure out how to do it again.

So yesterday :x
Image
The drone flies in your window and inserts breakfast packet into your feeding orifice, while you wile away the hours pondering selfies of everybody's feeding hole. All drippy with yummy!
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Re: Peak Oil Barrel: Peak Oil 2015

Unread postby donstewart » Tue 25 Apr 2017, 13:34:08

Perhaps Relevant
With the discussions about the good old days and industrial farming and the necessity for doing things differently. Perhaps this little essay from Michael Phillips’ book Mycorrhizal Planet may be appropriate…Don Stewart

‘BIOLOGICAL EQUIPMENT….The Amish gauge the usefulness of a tool by its impact on community values. (Not too dissimilar to Dmitry Orlov’s notions about getting control of the Technosphere.) Forgo whatever disagreements that brings up for you and just listen a minute. Keeping the phone out on the telephone pole means family dinner conversations are not interrupted. Disallowing rubber tires certainly keeps the economy local. Having no television shields one’s heart from the violence of a world gone mad. Selective use of technology involves judgement of larger considerations. Too few people ponder such things. Yet the Amish have shown the tenacity to question the powerful forces of modernity in order to preserve their traditional way of life.

What has that to do with mycorrhizal fungi and healthy plants? Perhaps just about everything.

Tools help humans accomplish the work we deem important. The right equipment can help us build humus, apply trace mineral co-factors, and sustainably manage woodlots. The wrong equipment can destroy mycorrhizal networks, efficiently apply glyphosate across vast acreage of genetically modified crops, and indeed decimate community values.

The lens through which we determine our world matters. Aligning with fungal imperatives—whether in farming, orcharding, or forestry—should be the primary consideration. The principe to first, do no harm is not merely about medical ethics. It is about you and me and whatever work we do in this God-given life.

Getting back to a more hands-on scale is part of the rich future we must face. How I love to use a scythe in my mountainside orchard…yet a tractor-mounted sickle bar will always suit down a longer row. It’s the biological purpose underlying the mowing that makes the tool. The broad fork, the wheel hoe, and the walking tractor serve us well in our gardens, but I can certainly appreciate wise use of a subsoil shank and spader to transform compacted soil across rolling terrain. That diesel-fueled wood chipper of mine finds its biological groove in the form of ramial chipped wood for building lasting soil fertility. A good ol’ pulp hook helps bring in firewood for the kitchen cookstove.

Industrial economics aren’t going to be worth one damn dime on a dead planet. The underlying purpose of ‘biological equipment’ is to help sequester carbon. Technology that allows humans to destroy ecosystems must be put aside. It may indeed be appropriate to reconsider the wheel.
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Re: Peak Oil Barrel: Peak Oil 2015

Unread postby pstarr » Tue 25 Apr 2017, 14:13:39

Permaculture is all fine and good, but ultimately not sustainable unless it is a truly closed-loop system. Small steps don't count. As long as the consumer of food is far removed from food production then necessary nutrients will never be returned to the soil. Thus necessitating use of industrial inputs, and transport refrigeration. oil

As per the Amish model, truly sustainable agriculture production requires small local, and truly labor intensive farms. There is no longer arable land where folks live in suburbia. We would have to (move the land lol) or move the people. The Chinese communists once was tried this. The West would not allow it
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Re: Peak Oil Barrel: Peak Oil 2015

Unread postby donstewart » Tue 25 Apr 2017, 15:17:40

@pstarr
Dmitry Orlov's current essay about maps is relevant. We all have maps which display relationships which are meaningful. Ideally, the maps also 'map' to the terrain. Thus, someone growing up in Manhattan in the Trump Tower has a certain map of the world which may relate very well to mid-town and the world of luxury and wealth. But if the terrain changes, then the map is no longer reliable and the person either has to change their map or wither away. Dmitry observes that, when the map no longer maps to the terrain, many people wither away, such as happened when the USSR collapsed.

If we take Dmitry's model seriously, then it is not a question of feeding 350 or 400 million Americans. First, we have to ask 'how many Americans will survive when the terrain changes?' Then we can ask 'will those survivors be able to feed themselves?'. And the answer is likely to be 'if they know how to feed themselves, have the means to implement Phillips' model of how to feed themselves, and are living in the sort of democratic anarchic political world that fosters self-reliance and small group cohesion', then they will have food and shelter and fiber and fuel in abundance.

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